So I recently had a big birthday, and if you’re following me on Twitter, you’ll know which one. I won’t bore you with the details but suffice it to say it was a great day and I received many cool gifts, one of which was the xbox 360 version of Red Dead Redemption. It arrived innocently enough via FedEx marked Saturday delivery. My buddy Jason surprises me like this sometimes, and usually it involves a six-shooter of one kind or another.
Well this six shooter came with all the Sergio Leone films packed behind it as well as Rockstar Games signature open world style. The first thing that grabbed me about Red Dead Redemption was the cinematic presentation. I wasn’t playing a game really, I was more like experiencing an interactive western. Little things like riding my horse to the first mission taking time make this game feel more real than just a game with western window dressing. Instead of getting somewhere quick, I had to ride along with my guide for a good 3 or 4 minutes listening to him chit-chat as I looked at the gorgeous scenery. I enjoyed the actual riding of the horse, it gave the journey a purpose (not just the destination).
The game then “begins”, but seems to end right quick as you get shot (no spoiler here as this is the premise of the game), than saved by local ranchers and nursed back to health. Your journey to redemption now begins as you help around the ranch (which is a cleverly veiled tool to teach you how to aim, shoot, and ride).
The game progresses as you journey to other towns and perform other missions, which all play nicely into your main goal of bringing the guy that left you for dead to justice (dead or alive. My guess is dead). The missions make sense in this game and they play into the overall storyline perfectly. They never feel forced or ancillary.
I’ve always been a fan of westerns, and Red Dead Red Redemption drops you smack dap in the middle of one. The scenery, the characters, and especially the horses all lead to an engrossing experience making you feel like you are in this new frontier.